Sunday, May 20, 2007

Call Congress Now - Senate Compromise Nothing But An Amnesty
Yesterday, Senators Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Mel Martinez (R-FL), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Ken Salazar (D-CO), Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), and others announced that Senate negotiators had reached a "compromise" on immigration reform. At the press conference, Senate negotiators lauded the compromise, particularly for its bipartisan nature. "This is the best possible chance in years we will have to secure our borders, bring millions of people out of the shadows and into the sunshine of America," declared Senator Kennedy. Senator Specter insisted that in putting together the deal, the negotiators had required that illegal aliens earn their "right" to citizenship. "It is not amnesty," he said.
However, the details of this Senate compromise prove that it is nothing more than an amnesty. The language creates a "Z" visa program for illegal aliens and illegal aliens only. Specifically, the Senate deal:
Provides that Z visas last for 4 years and may be renewed indefinitely.
Waives numerous criminal provisions for eligibility purposes and no medical exam is needed up front.
Requires state and local governments are required to assist illegal aliens in providing documentation to support a Z visa application as a condition of receiving state impact assistance money.
Immediately grants probationary benefits (including work authorization, protection from removal, and a social security number) based only on an application and a 24-hour wait on a background check. Probationary benefits are not affected by the "trigger" in Title I of the bill.
Provides that any knowledge of English is required only upon the first renewal of a Z visa (i.e. after four years).
Allows Z aliens to apply for green cards and become citizens. While they must wait until some existing applications are processed, they are not required to wait in line behind those who have applied for green cards after May 1, 2005. Moreover, they get to live and work in the U.S. while they wait.
Provides that green card applications (for heads of households) must be filed in person outside the U.S. but not necessarily in the alien's country of origin. The alien can then re-enter under a Z nonimmigrant visa because it serves as a valid travel document.
Requires certain fees and a penalties. To become a Z nonimmigrant (head of household only) must pay a $1,000 penalty. To become a legal permanent resident (i.e. obtain a green card), a head of household must pay a $4,000 penalty.
Congressman Brian Bilbray (R-CA), Chairman of the House Immigration Reform Caucus, reacted swiftly to the announcement of a Senate deal:
"The 'compromise' announced today by Senator Kennedy will reward 12 million illegal immigrants with a path to citizenship - what part of illegal does the Senate not understand? Any plan that rewards illegal behavior is amnesty. You would think that the Senate would have learned their lesson after the 1986 amnesty debacle, but it looks like their idea of a 'compromise' is to repeat the failed policies of the past."
Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO) had similar words regarding the "compromise":
"Senator McCain and his allies seem to think that they can dupe the American public into accepting a blanket amnesty if they just call it 'comprehensive' or 'earned legalization' or 'regularization.' Unfortunately for them, however, the American people know amnesty when they see it."
Now its time for you to react! ON MONDAY NIGHT, the Senate will vote on whether to proceed with S.1348 (last year's guest worker amnesty bill). If this motion to proceed passes, the Senate will strip the language of S.1348 and replace it with the Senate "compromise" language. The new language, created entirely in secret, back-room negotiations, will then be debated and voted on.
Call your Senators and urge them to stop this amnesty in its tracks! Urge them to vote NO on the motion to proceed and NO on the Senate Amnesty Compromise!!!
To find the phone numbers of your Senators, click here.